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Death Of Immigration Applicants: Compensate Victims’ Families –Muslim Group Urges FG

Tragedy at venues of Nigeria's Immigration recruitment sites

Press Release:

More than ten people died in stampedes which occurred at different recruitment locations around Nigeria on Saturday, 15th March, 2014. The exercise was organized by the immigration department. Several others were also injured and are receiving treatment in various hospitals.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) consoles the families of the victims and prays that Allah will grant them the courage to bear the loss as well as the wherewithal to cushion the economic effect of the death of their young ones and bread-winners. In particular, our hearts go to the loved ones of those pregnant women. We feel their pains and share in their frustration.

There is no gainsaying the fact that overcrowding was responsible for this calamity. The authorities obviously underestimated the unemployment monster ravaging the Nigerian society, particularly young graduates. Also partly responsible for the tragedy was the absence of crowd-control mechanisms.

Nonetheless, while we apportion blame to those directly in charge of the operation, we appreciate the fact that their intention was good, namely, to adopt utmost transparency in recruiting staff for the department of immigration. Unfortunately good intention alone is not good enough, meticulous planning is vital to success in such an exercise. With enough foresight, this tragic incident would have been avoided.

In a world far advanced in information technology, we are surprised that the authorities chose to return Nigeria to the Stone Age by assembling thousands of easily excited young Nigerians to venues which could not contain them. For instance, about 100,000 job-seekers were packed like sardine inside the National Stadium, Abuja whose capacity is just 65,000. The whole exercise would have gone hitch-free if applicants had been engaged online.

In view of the identified loopholes both in the planning and execution of the immigration recruitment exercise, MURIC demands the following:

1.     a public apology to the families of victims and the rest of Nigerians;

2.     immediate compensation for the families of the victims (at least N10 million to the family of each victim and N15 million to the families of the pregnant women who died) and

3.     a repeat of the exercise to be done online as soon as possible.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


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